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Bird Details

Sandpiper Like Sandpiper Like

Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

Killdeer
copyright Robert Shantz
Length: 11 in. (27 cm)
A common bird of moist open areas, beaches, fields, lawns, and golf courses, the Killdeer gets its name from its call. It is easily identified by its start and stop running behavior. The nest is usually a shallow depression in sand or gravel on an open rise where danger can be seen approaching. Killdeer parents perform a startling "broken wing" act when a predator is near the nest. The bird convincingly drags a wing and acts like it is injured, all the while tricking the hungry predator away from the eggs or young. The Killdeer feeds on insects and other invertebrates captured in upland areas or on the surface of moist mud. The four-digit banding code is KILL.

Open water
Open water

Urban city
Urban city

Marsh / swamp
Marsh / swamp

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Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Song
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CR_KILL_051301_S.jpg
Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Song

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.